Dr. Kim Mayer is our inaugural (interim) Executive Director and is leading the launch of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Innovation at the University of Texas at Arlington. Kim is also the Associate Vice President for Research, serving the UTA community as a knowledge broker for interdisciplinary projects, facilitating relationships between groups that don't typically have an opportunity to work together, and identifying opportunities where combined expertise leads to greater success. Previously, Kim was Executive Director of the endowed Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering Center at the California Institute of Technology. Kim worked with faculty, staff and students across the Institute doing innovative research in multiple fields at the intersection between biology and engineering. Before joining Caltech, Kim was the Statewide Technology Commercialization Director at the NC Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC), affiliated with The University of North Carolina system. Under Kim’s leadership from 2011-2015, the NC SBTDC’s Technology Commercialization Services team received client attribution for directly contributing to economic impacts with over 125 companies, including: 258 SBIR/STTR awards totaling nearly $102 million, 24 business starts, 38 investments and over 140 new jobs. Prior to the SBTDC, Kim was a Senior Scientist at a successful agricultural biotechnology start-up company in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.
Kim’s scientific background is in biochemistry, molecular biology and protein engineering, and she has over a decade of experience working on a wide variety of organisms, proteins and enzymes. She received her PhD in Genetics and Biochemistry from Purdue University in 1999 and her BS in Biology from UNC-Charlotte in 1995. She earned an MBA at UNC-Wilmington in 2009 where she was a Visiting Research Assistant Professor and Business of Biotechnology Fellow at the Center for Marine Science. Kim was an NIH-NRSA postdoctoral fellow at Caltech with Dr. Frances Arnold (Nobel Prize 2018), and a Goldhaber Fellow at Brookhaven National Laboratory.